Friday, December 10, 2021

Decking the halls

 Hi everyone! Well, it's December-- almost mid-December!-- and we are staring down the end of 2021. I know, it's crazy, because I'm still not over the trauma of 2020. But here we are, and it's time to deck the halls. I did get some new sparkly lights and they help my mood a whole lot, plus we got a new tree that actually fits the high ceilings in the family room. Our old one looked really tiny, and this one is much better, even though we need a ladder to get all the way up there to put the angel on top.
So, since we are decking the halls, I finished up two projects that are new parts of our holiday decor. First up is this little project:
This is the Cactus Star from Barbara Cline's book Diamond Star Quilts, which you can find right HERE. I finished this little project top back in March and just quilted it up this week, mainly because I think it looks like a Christmas cactus and will look lovely on the table for the holiday. 

I quilted this with my walking foot, just outlining the flower and leaves, adding in some rays, and stitching a flower in the center. I used two layers of white batting to make it extra cushy (for dishes, you know) and a white backing with sparkly dots. It didn't take long to quilt up, and I love how it turned out. That pink binding makes my heart happy.
The next project might be a little traumatic for some people, but I don't regret it one bit. It all started with this cute little quilt that I made a long time ago:

It's cute, but we don't use it very much. I used to hang it on the wall, but there are not a lot of walls here, and who wants a quilt to live in a box for years? What to do? Well. . . fold it in quarters and pin it to the ironing board:

Grab a piece of ribbon and a marking pencil and mark a circle, then cut! (Told you it could be traumatic!)

Then grab a cup or something similar and cut a circle in the middle, with another cut from a side to the center circle.

Then you have to make some bias binding and bind the edges, including the center circle. 

Honestly, this was the most painful part of the whole thing. That binding is stretchy, and I had to remember how to bind the inner curves. it took a little while. But it's worth it, because look:

. . .it turns into a happy tree skirt! This is much better than staying in that box for another year. I looked for a nice blue to use as binding like I had in the original quilt, but instead I ended up with a snappy Christmas green. I think it works. 

You may think I'm crazy, but I am so, so happy with this little project. I really only lost the corners of the old quilt, and this is very festive!

Hope you all are getting some time to stitch and maybe doing a few other happy, festive things. I think we're finally all decked out, and I'm looking forward to finishing up the semester next week and finally having a little down time with less stress. I have no idea how that will feel, but we'll see!

Sharing at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, Finished or Not Friday, Brag About Your Beauties, and the linkup at Patchwork and Applique.


LIttle Penguin Quilts said...

I think that's a great way to get some use out of a quilt that would have just stayed in the box otherwise, Mari! And now you'll get it out every year for the Christmas tree - perfect!

Jay said...

Brilliant solution! Your quilt makes a lovely tree skirt, and now you get to admire and appreciate it for the next month or so. Great idea.

Anorina @SameliasMum said...

I think turning an unused quilt into a tree skirt is a fantastic idea. Looks great.

Quiltpiecer said...

Your Cactus Star is beautiful but making a tree skirt from the quilt is pure genius. Great idea!

Alycia~Quiltygirl said...

Oh how festive!! and I love the transformation of that quilt to a tree skirt! Fabulous idea!

Kathleen said...

Great save! I too have the problem of few and fewer spots to hang things. Fun to do something so hard - cutting up a lovely quilt - but the results are soooo worth it.

MissPat said...

I love the cactus star quilt. Really does look like a Christmas Cactus. As far as the other project, I say if done is better than perfect, then repurposed into something useful is better than being stored forever. Do you have projects planned for your break or will activities with family (and visits with the grands) take up all your time?

Sylvia@Treadlestitches said...

I love both of these projects! I once had a Christmas cactus, and the colors were just like your quilt. You were so brave to cut up the wall hanging, and it makes a perfect tree skirt. Recycling, holiday style!

JanineMarie said...

Hey, it’s your quilt. You can do whatever you want with it. People are slicing and dicing a lot these days. Those inner circles are excruciating to bind, aren’t they? I bet it looks great under the tree. How about a photo? The Christmas cactus is so pretty! Your table will be very festive. Enjoy the holidays, Mari!

The Joyful Quilter said...

OMG, Mari! I think I'm in shock. Brilliant solution to an underused quilt, though!

piecefulwendy said...

What a great fix for a quilt you didn't really love! I like your Christmas Cactus mini - it's so bright and cheerful!

Cathy said...

What a great idea to repurpose your little wall hanging! It’s awesome!!

Preeti said...

You are crazy and that i why I love you. Beautiful cactus and a darling tree skirt. I have been thinking of you. You know why :-)